Court rejects gag order for Ramon case

Prosecutions team's request regarding Lindenstrauss report denied.

high court panel citizenship law 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
high court panel citizenship law 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The High Court of Justice on Tuesday rejected a request by Tel Aviv District Attorney Ruth David and attorney Ariella Segal-Antler, head of the prosecution team in the Haim Ramon trial, for a gag order against a report published a day earlier by the state comptroller, and reprimanded them for asking for it.
The report accused David and Segal-Antler, as well as two senior police officials, of “substantial negligence” for having failed to hand over transcripts of wiretapped conversations pertaining to the indictment against Ramon on charges of forcibly kissing a female IDF officer in an incident on July 12, 2006.
Ramon was convicted of the charge.
During the trial, his lawyer, Dan Schliemann, was informed that the police had wiretapped conversations by the female officer, her commanding officer, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s bureau chief, Shula Zaken, but failed to include them in the evidence the state gave the defense to prepare for the trial.
Two years ago, the cabinet ordered State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to investigate the affair and determine whether the withholding of the transcripts by the police and the prosecution was deliberate.
The state comptroller concluded that while there had been no malice in the oversight, the four officials, including David and Segal- Antler, were personally responsible for the failure. He recommended that Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein decide whether punitive measures should be taken against the four officials.
In response, David and Segal-Antler petitioned the High Court, demanding that Lindenstrauss cancel the conclusions and recommendations regarding the petitioners and that the report be republished without them.
Asked by the court to clarify how this could be done, since the original report was already available to the public, the petitioners asked the court for a gag order preventing further distribution of it.
On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Neal Hendel rejected the request outright.
In other developments, Weinstein issued a statement saying that he could not be the one to determine whether punitive measures should be taken against David and Segal- Antler, because as a private lawyer, before becoming attorney- general, he had represented figures involved in the affair. He said that in the coming days, he would appoint someone to consider Lindenstrauss’s recommendation.
Meanwhile, the Movement for Quality Government urged Weinstein to take measures against David and Segal-Antler, as well as the two police officials singled out by the state comptroller: retired Cmdr. Miri Golan, former head of the National Fraud Investigation Unit, and Dep. Cmdr. Eran Kamin, head of the police team that investigated the Ramon case.